Heroin Withdrawal

Published on 1/31/11
Categorized in Heroin Addiction
Heroin Withdrawal

Approximately 4 million Americans have tried heroin at some point in their lives. Because of its addictive nature, many of these individuals end up having to suffer withdrawal from the drug. This article focuses on heroin withdrawal symptoms, the duration of withdrawal, and how to better understand someone trying to quit heroin.

What is heroin withdrawal?

Taking heroin regularly can lead to physical dependence. This means that the person needs to consume heroin regularly to prevent withdrawal symptoms. The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the dosage, regularity, and the time frame (when they last took heroin). Heroin withdrawal symptoms will usually occur 6-24 hours after the last dose of heroin was administered.

What are some heroin withdrawal symptoms and how long do they last?

The length and severity of withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the individual's tolerance towards heroin. Heroin withrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Cold sweats
  • Severe muscle aches, notably in legs
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

Heroin withdrawal can take between 3-7 days of physical withdrawal. However, complete psychological recovery can take several months. For a detailed description of the phases of heroin withdrawal, consult our heroin withdrawal timeline.

Can heroin withdrawal kill you?

While withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant, heroin withdrawal is rarely fatal. However, people undergoing withdrawal will often consume large amounts of alcohol or other narcotics to lessen their symptoms. This can be extremely dangerous and can result in death.

How should I quit heroin?

For thorough recovery, we recommend checking into a rehab center. We have also written another article about how to quit heroin and a brief summary of withdrawal symptoms.

Resources

  • www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000949.htm
  • www.alcoholism.about.com/od/heroin/a/heroin.htm